Thursday, January 17, 2008

I sat in front of him. Looking down. Then out of the window. My eyes darted between looking at my half eaten sandwich and the coffee house window, carefully avoiding his face.
Carefully avoiding him.

My face was calm. Every hair neatly in place. It all effectively concealed the raging emotions, conflicting questions that had taken over my mind.

He would never know. He could never know.

He broke the silence by clearing his throat. I looked at him. With a steady, unwavering gaze devoid of any weak sentiment.

He smiled.

"So, what have you been upto? How have you been? ", he asked.

How have I been ? Did he just ask me how I have been?

I wanted to yell at him, yell at his lame attempt to strike a normal conversation.

Instead, I lied.

"I've been good. How about you?", I replied.

He relaxed a little. I hated him for that. He had no right to relax. Not after what he had done. Or rather, what he had failed to do.

"It's good, met up with a couple of school friends the other day. Felt nice. Thinking of going up North to meet relatives this coming May. Work is anyway light, that time of the year", he said.

I nodded. My mind was still engaged in processing those thousand questions, that were begging to be hurled at him, begging for an explanation.

He spoke on. About his work, his ambitions.

I nodded. Almost mechanically. Flashing him a pseudo sincere smile occasionally.

My mind wouldn't let up.

Why did you leave ? Am I not pretty enough ? Maybe I'm not smart enough ? Do you never think about all those times ? What about all those things you said ? Do I mean anything to you?

He mentioned something about moving away. Meeting his grandparents.

You always move away. I shuddered at the force of that statement.

And then he said something I wasn't prepared for.

"I'm scared", he said. "I don't think I can handle it, you know how long she's been suffering. I can't see her like this. I'm not strong enough."

I looked up, directly into his eyes. And I gulped. He was really scared. Scared of losing his loved one. Scared of accepting that he couldn't do anything about it.

Now you know how I felt. How it hurts. How it pains. And how you need someone, to just say it's going to be alright.

This could be my chance. My chance to teach him a lesson. To make him realize. It would only take one sentence. And it would hit him hard. I just had to....

"You'll be fine", I reached over and patted his hand, and smiled reassuringly. "She's going to make it, believe me. You just hang in there!"

I knew, in that fraction of a second, that I would never know the answers to my questions. I'll never know what went wrong. What he was thinking then, and whether our relationship ever meant anything to him. Whether he thought about me while he was away, or whether he wondered how I was doing.

All I knew was, he needed a friend. And I had to be one. I played my part well. And I played it honestly. And I sealed those feelings, away in a small box somewhere deep, in the back of my mind.

He left, after a couple of days. And he promised to keep in touch. I just listened, knowing very well, that I would probably never hear from him, once he reached his destination.

I knew I had done the right thing, to reach out and help.
Unfortunately doing that right thing, doesn't always provide the relief you'd think it would.

I knew I had no other choice.I knew that my feelings, however agonizing, had no place to be voiced.

But knowing doesn't mean forgetting.

And moving on is always easier said than done.

*Work of fiction. Resemblance to my life is purely due to your unnecessary interpretation. Enjoy it merely as a piece of writing*